Betrayed By Local

Beware of your local goods.

For all the intense fetishism around eating local, you have to gain a meta-view of what you’re consuming. What’s in the soil? What’s in the feed? It matters.

What if your local environment is a post nuclear meltdown wasteland, like British Columbia, all the way south to Half Moon Bay?

What if your verdant, locally grown, beautiful Lacinato Kale or Snow Leopard Melons will kill you? Lacinato… Kill?!

What if the wild nettles you love harvesting are so sweet because they’re pulling up lead?

Do you still want to eat local if everything’s contaminated?

I used to feel so deeply nourished by wild king or chinook salmon at the peak of smelting season. It was my favorite, bar none. But when reports kept coming back about the pacific northwest salmon runs being thoroughly contaminated with radiation, we procured tens of thousands of dollars of radiation equipment to test it ourselves. And the panic was real.

The exotically striped and intoxicatingly pungent melons in the co-ops tantalised me. Who doesn’t sparkle with joy plunging their teeth into a sumptuous, musky cantaloupe in July? I can’t explain my deep appreciation of pastel green and orange melons, sweeter than candy, muskier than a baby’s head. Maybe it’s the Asian in me who finds herself irrevocably drawn to huge spheroid vegeballs.

But. Every time I would hold the radiation sensor to any produce in my local micro food co-op — not kidding folks. This place walked the walk. It was insulated by straw bale and had LED lights. This place was Grade A Authentico . If anyone was a food fetishist, it would be the tribe congregating around People’s Food Co-Op. — it would bing and buzz, detecting invisible hot particles.

In my melons.

My MELONS.

I had to walk away from everything that used to nourish me.

Because of my horrible juice fasting experience in 2014, and the guerrilla education I received from years on the ground in local food fetishist wasteland ground zero I’m much more cautious and aware now.

And I hate it.

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